As a long-awaited commuter rail line prepares to link downtown Fort Worth to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Grapevine is pulling out the stops for a major development tied to a new rail station in its historic downtown.
Grapevine city leaders, along with partners in a public-private partnership, broke ground Wednesday, March 7, for a $105 million project in downtown Grapevine to be known as Grapevine Main.
The development will include a 42,000 square-foot, five-story rail station, a 38,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, a 121-room boutique hotel and a 552-space parking garage.
“Rail has been a part of our past and we want it to be part of our future,” Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate said as City Council members, representatives of Trinity Metro’s (formerly the Fort Worth Transportation Authority) TEXRail and Coury Development turned the first shovels of dirt for the ambitious project.
The downtown Grapevine station at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Drive is one of nine stations along the 27-mile rail route.
Downtown Fort Worth riders will use the existing T&P and the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Fort Worth to ride to Terminal B in DFW Airport.
Besides providing the first direct rail connection from Fort Worth to the airport, TEXRail will allow commuters to transfer to Dallas Area Rapid trains in the airport for connections into Dallas.
Besides the downtown Grapevine and Downtown Fort Worth stations, new stations planned include two in North Fort Worth, two in North Richland Hills, one on airport property north of the terminals and one at Terminal B in the airport.
It is expected to be an eight-minute ride between Grapevine Main and Terminal B, where riders can board Skylink to catch flights at any terminal.
Grapevine, North Richland Hills and Fort Worth are the only cities in Tarrant County to support Trinity Metro and development of this rail line with sales tax contributions.
Grapevine voters approved joining the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and allocating sales tax revenue for this rail line in November 2006. At the time, the line was expected to connect Fort Worth with the airport ahead of DART’s Orange Line linking downtown Dallas with the airport.
But a series of challenges and funding shortfalls stymied momentum.
Paul Ballard, president and CEO of Trinity Metro, recalled his first meeting with Tate after he joined the transportation agency in 2014. Tate told him he hoped he would live long enough to see the rail line arrive in Grapevine, Ballard said.
“We’re ecstatic to be here,” Ballard said. “You’re looking pretty darn good,” he told Tate.
Tate took the opportunity to admonish the Tarrant County cities that chose not to join the transportation system.
“Some who chose to not get onboard with TEXRail may live to regret it,” Tate said.
Besides the transit benefits, economic development projects like Grapevine Main is a gift of opportunity, Tate said.
In keeping with downtown Grapevine’s turn-of-the-20th century architecture, the Grapevine Main rail station will have a vintage look and will resemble America’s grand rail stations of yesterday with a great hall covered by soaring 40-foot ceilings. It will also have a 150-foot tower with an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city, Grapevine Lake, the distant skylines of Dallas and Fort Worth and the airport.
The space will have shops and restaurants as well meeting space, offices and community event space.
The upscale Hotel Vin, an Autograph Collection by Marriott Hotel, will be owned and operated by Coury Hospitality, which will also manage retail and food service operations throughout the development.
The hotel will feature a grand lobby and restaurant with large glass windows overlooking the rail station. The hotel will also have flexible meeting and event space.
“Coury Hospitality is excited to be part of such a monumental project,” said Paul Coury, CEO of Coury Hospitality. “The attention to detail will be unbelievable – it will challenge the status quo.”
The outdoor plaza will be a public gathering spot and place for frequent entertainment against a carefully curated space that will include public art, a showpiece water features and extensive landscaping.
The parking garage will offer valet service and Tesla-sponsored charging stations.
Grapevine’s rail station, along with others in the TEXRail network, are due to open around the end of this year.
The rest of the development is anticipated to open in 2019.